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Old 21-11-2004, 07:29 AM
T
 
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Default Does Alcohol expire?

I have some bottles of those airplane size containers of Alcohol.

They are at least 10 years old.

Are they still drinkable? Or does it spoil?
I have such things like, gin, vodka, cognac, etc.

Does it matter if I opened them or not?
Does it spoil once opened? (and left open)

I also have some wine that I bought back in 1990.
Does wine expire?

Thanks

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Old 21-11-2004, 08:23 PM
Gunther Anderson
 
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T wrote:

I have some bottles of those airplane size containers of Alcohol.


How big are these airplanes? A Cessna is considerably less than a
C-130, for instance.

They are at least 10 years old.

Are they still drinkable? Or does it spoil?
I have such things like, gin, vodka, cognac, etc.

Does it matter if I opened them or not?
Does it spoil once opened? (and left open)


I'm too lazy to paraphrase most of this, so I'll post the link to my site:

http://www.guntheranderson.com/liqueurs/storage.htm

The shortt answer is, sufficiently strong alcohol doesn't spoil in any
sense that you mean. Alcohol is a disinfectant, and happily kills any
microorganisms that try to set up housekeeping. So sufficiently strong
alcohol does not rot. However, it certainly goes stale. Air exposure
of any sort will kill the flavor of alcohol. Smaller bottles are more
susceptible to oxidation, because there's simply less liquid to absorb
the oxygen. However, I've had "nip" bottles of vodka upwards of a few
years old that had shown no particular problems.

So the answer is, they're definitely drinkable, and they will not harm
you any more than fresh alcohol will. However, they may no longer taste
like they originally did. Nips are made for quick consumption, not
storage. Distilled liquors in general aren't intended for storage,
since they do not benefit fro mit, unlike wine.

I also have some wine that I bought back in 1990.
Does wine expire?


Some wine gets much better with time. Some wine gets much, much worse.
Any wine with a cork problem has undoubtedly gotten worse. I don't
drink wine much, but I had a dozen bottles which had been stored poorly
that I decided to consume or toss. A good half of them were undrinkably
bad (they hadn't rotted, but the oxidation made them taste nasty)
because of leaks around the cork. The rest were reasonable, but none of
them were really good wine in the first place. So none of them were
exceptionally good.

So, like the liquors abve, the wine won't kill you, but might taste
nasty. Pop it open, give it a shot, and don't feel obligated to drink
it if it's not good. Life's too short to consume bad-tasting things
just because you paid for them.

Gunther Anderson

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Old 21-11-2004, 08:23 PM
Gunther Anderson
 
Posts: n/a
Default

T wrote:

I have some bottles of those airplane size containers of Alcohol.


How big are these airplanes? A Cessna is considerably less than a
C-130, for instance.

They are at least 10 years old.

Are they still drinkable? Or does it spoil?
I have such things like, gin, vodka, cognac, etc.

Does it matter if I opened them or not?
Does it spoil once opened? (and left open)


I'm too lazy to paraphrase most of this, so I'll post the link to my site:

http://www.guntheranderson.com/liqueurs/storage.htm

The shortt answer is, sufficiently strong alcohol doesn't spoil in any
sense that you mean. Alcohol is a disinfectant, and happily kills any
microorganisms that try to set up housekeeping. So sufficiently strong
alcohol does not rot. However, it certainly goes stale. Air exposure
of any sort will kill the flavor of alcohol. Smaller bottles are more
susceptible to oxidation, because there's simply less liquid to absorb
the oxygen. However, I've had "nip" bottles of vodka upwards of a few
years old that had shown no particular problems.

So the answer is, they're definitely drinkable, and they will not harm
you any more than fresh alcohol will. However, they may no longer taste
like they originally did. Nips are made for quick consumption, not
storage. Distilled liquors in general aren't intended for storage,
since they do not benefit fro mit, unlike wine.

I also have some wine that I bought back in 1990.
Does wine expire?


Some wine gets much better with time. Some wine gets much, much worse.
Any wine with a cork problem has undoubtedly gotten worse. I don't
drink wine much, but I had a dozen bottles which had been stored poorly
that I decided to consume or toss. A good half of them were undrinkably
bad (they hadn't rotted, but the oxidation made them taste nasty)
because of leaks around the cork. The rest were reasonable, but none of
them were really good wine in the first place. So none of them were
exceptionally good.

So, like the liquors abve, the wine won't kill you, but might taste
nasty. Pop it open, give it a shot, and don't feel obligated to drink
it if it's not good. Life's too short to consume bad-tasting things
just because you paid for them.

Gunther Anderson

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Old 09-01-2005, 07:39 PM
X.
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Gunther Anderson , essendo finito in un
fosso in una curva a 20 all'ora, così bestemmia:

Air exposure
of any sort will kill the flavor of alcohol.


Could you tell me if a bottle of a strong alcoholic beverage (such as,
say, brandy) could last about a century if it had NEVER been opened?
Are the corks of these bottles usually good enough for that?






Ciao!
--

\\//
//\\ o (22,170/184,VA)
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:37 PM
Gunther Anderson
 
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Default

X. wrote:
Gunther Anderson , essendo finito in un
fosso in una curva a 20 all'ora, così bestemmia:

Air exposure
of any sort will kill the flavor of alcohol.


Could you tell me if a bottle of a strong alcoholic beverage (such as,
say, brandy) could last about a century if it had NEVER been opened?
Are the corks of these bottles usually good enough for that?


I can't say with any certainty. I don't work with commercial brandy.
But, if stored like wine (keep the bottle on its side so the cork
remains wet, keep out of sunlight, keep the temperature fairly
constant), I don't see any reason why a bottle of brandy shouldn't be as
good now as it was a century ago. It won't be any better, but it might
not have gone stale.

Gunther Anderson



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Old 10-01-2005, 01:40 PM
Aleksi Kallio
 
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I can't say with any certainty. I don't work with commercial brandy.
But, if stored like wine (keep the bottle on its side so the cork
remains wet, keep out of sunlight, keep the temperature fairly
constant), I don't see any reason why a bottle of brandy shouldn't be as
good now as it was a century ago. It won't be any better, but it might
not have gone stale.


At least whisky should not be stored like wine. The interaction between
the cork and the strong liquor has (mostly harmful) effects on the
taste. I think that storing strong alcohol for a century like that
would result in a quite spoiled bottle. Storing the normal way should be
less damaging, though I think still the result might not be satisfactory.
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Old 10-01-2005, 01:40 PM
Aleksi Kallio
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I can't say with any certainty. I don't work with commercial brandy.
But, if stored like wine (keep the bottle on its side so the cork
remains wet, keep out of sunlight, keep the temperature fairly
constant), I don't see any reason why a bottle of brandy shouldn't be as
good now as it was a century ago. It won't be any better, but it might
not have gone stale.


At least whisky should not be stored like wine. The interaction between
the cork and the strong liquor has (mostly harmful) effects on the
taste. I think that storing strong alcohol for a century like that
would result in a quite spoiled bottle. Storing the normal way should be
less damaging, though I think still the result might not be satisfactory.
  #8 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 10-01-2005, 04:13 PM
X.
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Gunther Anderson , essendo finito in un
fosso in una curva a 20 all'ora, così bestemmia:

I can't say with any certainty.


Yeah, I think it's difficult to tell, and I guess it depends on the
bottle. My Grand Marnier bottle doesn't have the same cork my Bols
Blue Curaçao has, for instance...

I asked you so because I heard there are collectors of vintage (or
disappeared) spirits, like pre-ban Absinthe (which usually dates back
to 1910-1915, so it can be more than 90 years old). I was just
wondering whether those bottles are just good for a collection or can
be significantly similar to what the liquid tasted like back then :-).
There would be the problem about the storage conditions, as well...
for such an old bottle, they could be mostly unknown (or anyway you'd
have to trust the seller, which is the same concept...), so it would
be reasonable to assume that no particular care has been addressed,
averagely, to the storage (exposure to high temperatures for
instance).




Ciao!
--

\\//
//\\ o (22,170/184,VA)
  #9 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 10-01-2005, 04:13 PM
X.
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Gunther Anderson , essendo finito in un
fosso in una curva a 20 all'ora, così bestemmia:

I can't say with any certainty.


Yeah, I think it's difficult to tell, and I guess it depends on the
bottle. My Grand Marnier bottle doesn't have the same cork my Bols
Blue Curaçao has, for instance...

I asked you so because I heard there are collectors of vintage (or
disappeared) spirits, like pre-ban Absinthe (which usually dates back
to 1910-1915, so it can be more than 90 years old). I was just
wondering whether those bottles are just good for a collection or can
be significantly similar to what the liquid tasted like back then :-).
There would be the problem about the storage conditions, as well...
for such an old bottle, they could be mostly unknown (or anyway you'd
have to trust the seller, which is the same concept...), so it would
be reasonable to assume that no particular care has been addressed,
averagely, to the storage (exposure to high temperatures for
instance).




Ciao!
--

\\//
//\\ o (22,170/184,VA)


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